Make sure the pears you use are very firm, not soft, and use the best quality saffron you can afford. I am lucky enough to have some from Spain and some even better quality that my son bought me in Egypt. The better the saffron, the more of an earthy quality the chutney seems to have. Also, if you like your chutney hot, just throw in some dried chilli. I find that Gordon Ramsay is brilliant at mixing spices, and that the mix in this is just right for Christmas.
This tastes wonderful with ham.
Pear, Apple and Saffron ChutneyRating : Easy to Moderate
Ingredients1 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
50g knob of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ –1 tsp cayenne pepper, to taste
250g light unrefined soft brown sugar
250ml white wine vinegar
4 firm pears (such as Williams), about 650g
1 small cooking apple, about 350g, peeled, cored and chopped
2 pinches of saffron strands
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 small oranges
2 tomatoes, diced
Heat the olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and sweat for a few minutes with a touch of seasoning - to soften but not colour. Add the grated ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Sauté for another 1–2 minutes. Add the sugar and stir over a medium heat until it has dissolved, then add the wine vinegar.
Peel, core and chop the pears and apple. Add to the pan with the sultanas, saffron and orange zest and juice. Bring to the boil and boil steadily for about 15 minutes, until the liquid has reduced down to a syrupy consistency and is thick and lovely.
Add the diced tomatoes and cook for a few minutes, by which time the chutney should be well reduced and thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning with a little salt and pepper.
While still hot, spoon the chutney into clean, sterilised jars and seal. Store in a cool, dark cupboard or the fridge and use within 6 months – the flavour will improve with time.